Fun Things to Do in New York

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The state of New York has endless fun things to do for your kids to enjoy, both inside and outside of the Big Apple.

Free Fun

If you can easily get to it, the FAO Schwartz (http://www.fao.com/) toy store in New York City can provide hours of free entertainment for your kids. While the store has stuff for sale, the displays and floor model toys are free to look at and play with, and your kids may be satisfied doing nothing other than visiting. Fire Island National Seashore (http://www.nps.gov/), has no admissions charge and gives kids the chance to play in the sand and splash in the waves.

Educational Fun

If your kids love hands-on play, one of New York’s many children’s museums is an ideal spot. Consider the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (www.cmom.org), which has traveling and permanent exhibits surrounding literature, health, science, culture, and art, all of which encourage kids to interact with the exhibits. The Children’s Museum of the Arts (www.cmany.org), also in New York City, is dedicated only to teaching kids about art and creativity. Outside of New York, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum (http://www.mhcm.org/) in Poughkeepsie is another option. Finally, make sure your kids have the chance to see the American Museum of Natural History (http://www.amnh.org/) in New York City, one of the premier natural science museums in the nation.

Environmental Fun

The Bronx Zoo (www.bronxzoo.com) offers your kids the chance to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most exotic creatures. If your budget is tight, plan to visit on Wednesdays, which are the zoo’s donation day. The New York Aquarium (www.nyaquarium.com) gives insight into the under the sea world, allowing your kids to experience an environment typically invisible to them. To see yet another usually invisible environment, take your kids to Howe Caverns in Howes Cave, New York (http://www.howecaverns.com/), where you can take a guided tour 150 feet below the surface of the earth, including a boat ride.

Seasonal Fun

New York City is the place to go for Christmas fun. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (http://www.radiocity.com/) is something most people should see at least once in their life, and your kids will appreciate the spectacle if they are older. For fall fun, head to Pick a Pumpkin Pumpkin Patch in the Schoharie Valley (http://www.pickapumpkin.com/), around 35 miles southwest of Albany. This is open in late September through the end of October.

Just for Mom Fun

If you need some time alone, head to Madison Avenue to do some window shopping. If you need to actually buy something within your budget, the Lower East Side is known for its bargains. If a wine tour is more your thing, the Finger Lakes Region (http://www.newyorkwinerytours.com/) has several wineries and vineyards you can tour.

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